It's a sad day today Friday, November 17, 2006I can't say anything that anyone else has not already said about Milton Friedman and his influence on people's thinking about politics, economics and individual liberty. His death is a loss to all of us. Kindest sympathies to David, Patri and Rose.
- At Sun Nov 19, 12:29:00 AM EST, sologue said...
I kind of feel bad for calling/implying Friedman was a statist... certainly he had a reputation for advocating for freedom, and he earned that reputation.
But I can not excuse a libertarian who supports monetarism. The government's control of the national money supply has been one of the leading causes of the erosion of freedom in this country. You can't ignore something like this if you want to seriously advocate for freedom, even if you do think that in the hands of the right people, monetarism would be a source of increased prosperity and freedom.
However, if a majority of people in this country were knowledgeable on Friedman's message and principles, this country (and world) would most likely be a much better place than it is right now.
- At Sun Nov 19, 01:39:00 AM EST, James said...
No, Friedman was a statist. I don't think it's necessary to pretend otherwise to see that Friedman was still a brilliant defender of liberty on the whole.
Concerning monetarism, I don't think the idea of a fixed rate of money growth (as Friedman advocated) has to be any more of a problem than, say, barbecue sauce made with mayonnaise. Both are ideas that I can see no merit in, but thankfully we have a market in barbecue sauce which would allow us to avoid any mayonnaise based concoction. On the other hand, we have legal tender laws which are the real problem with any idea about monetary policy, and which I don't believe Friedman ever claimed to be in favor of and which is certainly not an implication of the quantity theory of money. Under free banking, I just wouldn't accept money from monetarist banks.